How a Katy Pastor who Endured Horrific Traumatizing Childhood Sexual Abuse and Struggled with Pornography, Sexual Addictions and Suicidal Ideations Found Tremendous Healing Through Christ




How a Katy Pastor who Endured Horrific Traumatizing Childhood Sexual Abuse and Struggled with Pornography, Sexual Addictions and Suicidal Ideations Found Tremendous Healing Through Christ

“Once, I was hopeless. I wanted to take my life, and I wanted it all to end. I found hope in a relationship with God and with people in His church, who have come around me, supported me and loved me. I’ve seen God heal my brokenness.”

KATY, TX—Two-and-a-half decades ago, pastor and entrepreneur Hunter Burcaw’s life began in a local neighborhood zoned for Cinco Ranch High School. He was the youngest of four boys, and his mother and father were married.

“Early on in my life, things were not easy. I’ll put it that way. I grew up in a family, I’m sure like many families, that looked fine on the outside, but on the inside, there was a lot of hurt and woundedness,” Hunter recalled. “I grew up in the middle of that.”

Lurking beneath the surface of Hunter’s seemingly normal family were beasts of secrecy and pain. His oldest brothers were constantly in and out of jail and prison for drug and theft related crimes.

“Chaos was just how my life began,” he described. 

When Hunter was very young, his family regularly attended church, and he first became familiar with some teachings of Christ. However, by the time he entered elementary school, his family’s attendance waned. They quit going to church regularly, eventually only making an appearance for major holidays.

The drift between his family and the Lord opened a deep wound inside of Hunter’s life. He felt deep loneliness and yearned for something more; for a meaningful relationship and a sense of belonging that only Christ could provide. Later, he would recognize this.

But before he could, one fateful summer when Hunter was only six years old dramatically altered the course of his life. 

“My older brothers, they had friends who were always around. I was sexually abused when I was six years old in the attic of my parents’ house over the course of a summer,” Hunter professed.

Hunter Burcaw at the age of six pictured with his mother.

“I was six. That was so very early in my life, and it was obviously a sin in that person’s life, but it came onto me very strongly. Those early sexual interactions actually rewire the way our brains are designed by God to function.”

The six-year-old brain is malleable, impressionable and fragile. Children at this age are learning to express their interests, thoughts and feelings and tell time. The sexual abuse that Hunter—and many others with similar experiences—endured robbed him of his natural innocence and left him struggling with urges he did not understand.

“I started struggling with these sexual urges and temptations that were unnatural and ungodly, and because I grew up, to some extent, in the church, I knew that it was wrong. I was struggling with this desire that was in me that was totally the opposite of how I knew God created me,” Hunter described.

“That fight and that struggle became very real, and it almost cost me my life.”

As a mere child, Hunter grew increasingly tormented by shame, secrecy and pain. He experienced suicidal ideations that led to numerous suicide attempts, including taking pills and tying a belt around his neck. 

His internal pain, compounded by years of silence, had been destroying him on the inside—and it then began to affect him on the outside, too.

“My relationships with teachers and friends, even my family, struggled because I was keeping this big secret to myself. This abuse that had happened, and also these unnatural sexual desires and urges. I was dealing with all of that weight on my own. So, I tried to escape that,” he said. 

However, despite the loneliness and isolation that plagued Hunter, Christ hadn’t abandoned him. The creator continued orchestrating elements behind the scenes to shepherd Hunter’s dark path toward light. 

“[At age thirteen], I went to a summer camp, and I heard the hope of a new life in a relationship with Christ. I accepted Christ, and that familial need, the love of a father, of a God who would never forsake me and who would always love me, was fulfilled,” he said.

“A relationship with a brother in Christ who would be encouraging and lifegiving, I got from my relationship with Christ, rather than from my brothers themselves.”

The teen found a bit of comfort in connecting with a church body. He felt encouraged and loved by his new community of believers—but his internal darkness and pain remained. 

He began to give up hope that he would ever find liberation from the effects of the sexual abuse he’d experienced in his childhood. Even passing comments from pastors and friends about sexual abuse survivors struggling with all sorts of issues throughout their lives affected Hunter. 

He felt trapped and destined for a life of permanent woundedness.

“Despite that, God still had a plan for my life. I eventually moved from Katy to New Orleans to go to school there and study the Bible, and eventually, become a pastor,” Hunter continued.

“[In 2015], when I was in school, my first semester, there was a conference that came to the campus from Pure Desire, a Christian organization that deals with everything regarding sexual addiction, pornography addiction, same sex attraction, you name it.” 

“If it’s sexual in nature, they approach it from a Christian perspective and give you good biblical and clinical frameworks to think about for how we deal with that stuff in our lives or in the lives of other people.”

At the conference, Hunter experienced the first bit of hope he’d had that he wasn’t fated for misery. He began to realize that God could actually rewire the pathways within his brain that had been corrupted after his sexual abuse, changing the way his brain worked and thought and how his attractions developed.

“My sexual desires were taken from what God created them to be and twisted into something evil… At that conference, I realized a lot of the temptations that I had, and the evil desires, were the result of evil in the world,” Hunter confided. 

“The person who abused me, their evil came into my life and affected me. Eventually, I gave into that and gave into the sin and temptation in my own life.”

Up until this point in his life, he had never entrusted anybody with his story of horrific sexual trauma. He’d also never spoken to anybody about his “unnatural” sexual attractions and pornography addiction. While he was being eaten alive on the inside, he was still trying to pursue and serve God as well as he knew how. 

Following the conference, Hunter was invigorated to make changes in his life. He spent the rest of his first semester embarking on a journey to bring what was in the darkness into the light…

“That semester, I shared with a group of friends everything that had happened in my life. The first time I told people the things that were in the darkness, and brought those things into the light, God immediately began to totally transform my life,” Hunter gaped. 

“When I say that, I really do mean everything on the inside began to change. I had no control over the evil desires in my life before I had brought those things out and confessed them to other believers, and to God. I began to trust that He could do work to renew my mind and my body and to bring me back into alignment with His desire for my life, to love one woman.”

Hunter practiced openness and transparency and continued his self-work in counseling. Gradually, he found healing.




“I eventually met my wife, Kristi, and we got married in 2020, and now have three kids. Kristi was very aware of my background, my story with my family and my sexual addiction and trying to fight the good fight,” he said. 

“Despite all of that, she has chosen to love me and encourage me through it all. Both of us have seen God work in my life to bring restoration to what was broken.”

About a decade has passed since Hunter began his shift from a state of confusion and woundedness to a state of self-assuredness and peace. 

His heart, mind and body, along with its attractions and desires, have all been rerouted by God to serve God. No longer does he feel hopeless or question his salvation or the realness of God.

“I’ve seen God, over these past years, do a good work and totally change me. Even my mind, my heart, how I love, how I think and how I worry about myself and others, [have changed]. God has taken me from being this very self-deprecating person to someone who realizes that I am created in the image of God,” he said.

Over the years, Hunter has continuously found comfort in a specific Bible verse: Philippians 1:6.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

“I actually have it tattooed on my arm,” Hunter remarked. “This passage has given me so much hope over the last few years in working through the effects of my sexual abuse. I know that when God makes a promise, He will keep it, and I can trust Him when he says that. When HE says that He will complete the work that He began with me, that means that today, I can rest easy knowing that God is in control of my life.”

“I am resting in His arms and the work of Christ on my behalf, covering those sins, paying for those sins that I have committed, but also bringing about healing and new life for me.”

Today, Hunter exemplifies the power of Christ to use for good what the enemy used for evil. He serves as a pastor at the west campus of Second Baptist Church. He is also in his eighth year in the Texas Army National Guard as a religious affairs specialist, where he is a sergeant. 

Hunter is also the owner of three small businesses in Katy, a pool company, a consulting company and a marketing company.  Additionally, he’s assisted in starting up multiple non-profit organizations that offer leadership training and development, and two Christian non-profit camps. 

At home, he enjoys a loving, spiritually fruitful and tight knit relationship with his wife, Kristi, and their three children.

“Every single day, I get to see the glory of God in how much He has just turned my life around and brought me back to Him. Once, I was hopeless, wanting to take my life. Now, I wake up and I hope that my story of God’s work in my life will have an impact on others who have experienced similar things,” Hunter said.

“And my willingness to come out and say, ‘Hey, this has happened to me.’ Not in a sense of pride, but in a sense of, the abuse that happened in my life has impacted all of me. It has impacted… my relationship with God, my relationship with my spouse and with my family. I had to give those relationships over to God and see God work and heal those things.”

Opening up about trauma can be distressing or even seem impossibly daunting. The process involves revisiting painful, emotionally taxing memories and vocally processing how they’ve molded you into who you are today. 

Some people fear invalidation or minimization of their feelings or experiences; others fear social stigmas, judgment or being blamed for their trauma. Others, still, don’t want to relive the details of a painful experience, or they are afraid of admitting how their trauma might have reshaped their own thought patterns and behaviors.

“I know that it can be challenging to come out and say, ‘I have been wounded by the world,’” Hunter related. “But when we do that, and we’re honest about our brokenness, that’s when God can step in and begin to heal so much.”

“And He will heal more than you ever thought you needed. You will discover His love, inspiration and mercy every day as you walk, having all of yourself out in the light, known to Him and known by your brothers and sisters in Christ. Because He is the one who brings healing. My life is a story of that, a testimony of that.”

Male victims of sexual abuse face unique challenges when it comes to recovering from their experiences. They’re significantly less likely to report sexual abuse relative to women—and they often have difficulty accepting that they have been sexually abused at all.

Factors like stereotypes hinder male victims from coming forward. Some people, wrongly, believe that men cannot be the victims of sexual assault. This misconception is detrimental to male victims, who often think they must have somehow invited inappropriate sexual advances, or that they could have stopped them from occurring. Other men fear that opening up about sexual abuse will make them appear less masculine.

However, as Hunter realized, a tremendous portion of healing can only be conducted when a person is ready to open up and truthfully speak about their traumas, experiences and challenges—with a trusted community, with a partner and with the Lord.

With this level of transparency, a person can begin to work through their suffering and transition from victim to survivor.

To men, Hunter offered the following advice.

“I think men, we are drawn toward passivity and doing nothing because that is the easy route. If there is hurt and pain and you see it affecting the relationships in your life, there is only one option that we really have: bring what has been in darkness into the light,” Hunter advised.

“Confess your hurts, traumas and sins to your spouse. If you’re not married, find those close brothers in your life who you can talk to. If you are married, and you’re dealing with pornography addiction or sexual addiction, you need to find those close brothers that God has put around you so you can tell them what is really going on.”

“You need that level of honesty with other people. At the same time, you’ve got to have that same level of honesty with God. In my life, I denied what had happened to me, the sexual abuse. I had made it out to be a dream or something for a long time. Eventually, I realized that I struggled with trusting people. Well, why was that? I struggled with trusting people because I had seen what people could do, and it lowered my ability to trust,” he said.

Shattering avoidant tendencies and finally leaning into the discomfort of trusting people again is possible, and it is the first step in healing from sexual abuse.

“The second thing that I would say is to seek a pastor or a counselor who can walk with you through the spiritual journey of processing the effects of sexual abuse. We know, from the Old Testament, that what the enemy intended for evil, God meant for good. And that’s exactly what can happen in our lives when we give things up to God and begin to trust our brothers and sisters in Christ with the woundedness that we have.”

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